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Robert Louis Stevenson
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Robert Louis Stevenson: The Edinburgh Years - private half day EV tour with inclusive coffee and scones

Price on Request

Departure days

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January — December

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From frail little boy, through eccentric, introspective youth to worldwide fame, Robert Louis Stevenson is perhaps the most beloved of all Edinburgh’s literary sons. Join us in tracing RLS' Edinburgh years - the places he lived and took inspiration.

Robert Louis Stevenson was an Edinburgh boy through and through, born into a famous dynasty of lighthouse engineers. Young RLS though, was different from the very start, as he navigated his solidly middle-class upbringing in the New Town. Frail in health and nervous on the one hand, he had a restless creativity, always with notebook in hand to record and create. He studied law at the University of Edinburgh, but his interest ran more to the city’s demi-monde, through which he cut a raffish young figure in his trademark velvet coat, always watching, always absorbing – scenes, actions, characters – the experiences that would come bursting out in a creative storm not much later. Away from the hubbub of the city, he took inspiration too in the quietude and cheerfulness of his minister grandfather’s home at Colinton, and at the family’s summer retreat in Swanston, on the slopes of the Pentland Hills. 

On your tour you’ll see the places where RLS lived, learned and dreamed!

This tour can be guided in German by our Associate Guide - Amanda Aikman MA(Hons)


- Our luxury vehicle will pick up your party from your preferred location.

- First, you’ll visit where it all began, Stevenson’s birthplace in the New Town. From there we’ll walk in his baby-carriage tracks to the Royal Botanic Gardens, and little RLS’s favourite pond.

- Next you’ll see the house where RLS spent most of his boyhood, in Heriot Row. We’ll see the location of his first school, as well as passing Edinburgh Academy, where he had his high school years.

- You’ll follow him up to university, viewing Old College Quadrangle, as well as his local ‘howff’ or hangout, just across the road! Then in Edinburgh's famous suburb of Morningside you'll see (if wished) the resting place of Alison Cunningham, RLS' beloved nurse 'Cummy', before we stop for refreshments at the prestigious Braid Hills Hotel.

- You’ll visit picturesque Colinton Village and the church and house where RLS many happy days. Here we can follow a laid-out RLS trail up the ‘long steps’ to the main street, seeing poetry installations from ‘A Child’s Garden of Verse’ as we go.

- Finally, we’ll go to the very edge of the city, to rural Swanston, to see where the Stevenson family spent their summers, far from the dirt and hustle of the city; a place where RLS took much inspiration. 

- The tour will end with you back in the city at your chosen point, or you can continue the RLS theme by lunching either at Swanston, or at the historic Hawes Inn, South Queensferry (lunch and return journey to Edinburgh not included)

Tour Essentials

- Private hybrid electric vehicle tour for up to 3 adult guests or family of 4. Larger vehicles can be arranged, for groups of up to 18 guests.

- Visiting key Stevenson locations in Edinburgh

- Half day tour

- Warm clothing required 

- Weather dependent tour

- Free cancellation up to 24hrs before tour time

- Commentary from local guide

- Complimentary pickup and drop-off at your choice of location.

- Children welcome but we cannot provide child safety seats

- Fully insured vehicle and driver/guide

Contact details

7 Hills Tours
56 Allan Park Crescent
EH14 1LQ
Edinburgh Edinburgh & The Lothians Edinburgh - City Centre
Driver guide
English German

Tour company information

7 Hills Tours

7 Hills Tours is a new and imaginative private tour and shore excursion company, run by local family physician and Edinburgh native Dr Moray Grigor. Touring in a luxury and eco-friendly hybrid vehicle, we open up Edinburgh and Scotland along a myriad of fascinating planes for the guest to see and enjoy. Plus, within Edinburgh, we also offer memorable Old Town walking tours. Vehicle tours include free pickup and dropoff at your choice of location. Our vehicle can accommodate up to three adults or a family of four; for larger groups of up to 18 guests, bigger vehicles can be arranged.

Opening times

Mon-Fri 0800-1700
Outside these hours as arranged for private tours.

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